He's defended our ports from the fiendish designs of Dubai; he's wrestled the White House for New York's fair share of Homeland Security pork. Now Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.)—he of the Eraserhead hairdo and shark-like smile—has declared war on the Fourth Estate.
"The New York Times clearly broke the law," King, the House Homeland Security Committee chairman, said yesterday, slamming the paper—and government leakers—for revealing a program that's believed to have helped snare a number of Al Qaeda leaders.
"The terrorists did not know that we had access to foreign transactions," King said. "This has definitely compromised our security in a time of war."
"No one elected The New York Times to do anything," King said. "They're breaking the law to satisfy their own arrogant, liberal agenda."
That's a great point—no one elected the New York Times! You could nitpick and point out that the Constitutional Convention and all 50 states have voted to protect the Times by rejecting any abridgement of "the freedom of speech, or of the press." But who knows better—them or the voters of (half of) Nassau County, New York?
As Matthew Yglesias points out, Peter King isn't alone in his sizing up this dangerous "free press" stuff. Hugh Hewitt of the prestigious Chapman University School of Law argues that Times Editor Bill Keller has decided to "risk the national security of the United States and the lives of its citizens" by reporting that US is effectively going after foreign bank accounts to thwart terrorism. The Times is blowing America's cover, which is a hell of an achievement considering we've openly bragged about our ability to shut down terrorists' foreign transactions since the months after 9/11.